Ironman Leigh laps it up
LIKE all athletes in the Ironman, Leigh Brown’s campaign was all about an ambition.
The Douglas local wanted to experience the Port Douglas turnaround – and you only get that if you do the full Ironman (he’d done the half Ironman twice before).
“You get to experience the ride in town and the local support. And that’s what happened. “It was amazing – people I didn’t even know, out in the street. The whole Rattle n Hum were yelling out and carrying on, so . . . it was amazing.
“It was a special thing. I don’t know how many Port Douglas locals were in it but for me coming into town, it was fantastic.”
Leigh (39) had the pleasure of his family greeting him on his way through Port Douglas, and skilfully, doing the same thing back in Cairns.
They took the ferry ride to Cairns and Leigh spotted them when he got back there for the run.
“I’m 6ft7 and not much of a runner. I’m not built for that,” he explained.
“So it came to the marathon and at one stage, at the 30 km point, I had a bit of a walk, and that’s when my son saw me!
“I thought I’d better start running again, and that’s what got me home.”
His race time was 12hrs 26min.
Leigh finished around 45 minutes earlier than he thought he would, vindicating all the faith that his coach, Nick Carling, had put in him to do the job.
“He told me I could do it,” said Leigh.
He had been training six days a week since Christmas. “I’ve been going six months without a beer,” he said.
“My mindset was that if I didn’t do the work, then I was going to pay on the day.” But it all paid off in fact. “To be honest, I just soaked it all in,” he said of the big day. “I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. It was amazing.”
By Tuesday he wasn’t feeling so sore.
And he had already decided, in fact he knew straight after the race, he wanted to do it again.
“I’m a big believer in setting goals in your life, whether it be work or sport or whatever,” he said.
Leigh said his Carling teammates were a huge factor in his entering and completing the Ironman – Simon Mulligan Amanda Frazer, Holly Hopkins, Liz O’Sullivan, Kraig Byrne, Jo van Ewyk and Tanille Nott.
Leigh Brown’s big moment — entering his home town on the first leg of the Ironman bike race in the Ironman